6 Must-Try Octopus Dishes in San Diego

By Darlene Horn  |  May 24, 2016
Credit: Darlene Horn

If you haven’t already noticed, octopus is making big waves in San Diego, showing up in everything from rustic Spanish dishes to novel creations at the most exciting spots in town. Read below for our favorite takes on this scene-making cephalopod.

  • Credit: Darlene Horn

    Octopus at Sirena Cocina Latina

    Seafood rules at this Little Italy restaurant, and octopus is one shining example. Chef Jaime Chavez tangles several tentacles against puréed carrots in his wood-fired rendition, served with glazed fennel, roasted Peruvian potatoes, sunchokes and baby peppers.

    1901 Columbia St.; 619-564-8970

  • Credit: Darlene Horn

    Octopus Ceviche at Farmer’s Bottega

    The sea creature gets an ever-changing treatment at this Mission Hills eatery. Recent incarnations include a butter-poached version served with fingerling potatoes, and another served grilled with eggplant. Our pick is the ceviche prepared with onions, cilantro, avocado and lime juice, and served with tortilla chips for a refreshing appetizer.

    860 W. Washington St.; 619-458-9929

  • Credit: Darlene Horn

    Grilled Spanish Octopus at Firehouse American Eatery + Lounge

    This dish meshes sweet with savory in a memorable way you’ll only find in Pacific Beach. Here, a grilled tentacle serves as the anchor to a plate decorated with olive–sweet pepper relish, golden raisin purée, roasted tomatoes and tempura red onions.

    722 Grand Ave.; 858-274-3100

  • Credit: Bracero Cocina

    Wood-Grilled Octopus at Bracero Cocina de Raiz

    Chef Javier Plascencia’s much-heralded take on octopus is just as lovely to look at as it is to eat. Served on an eye-catching platter, the specialty comes layered with Meyer lemons, olives, garbanzo beans, yuzu-roasted peanuts, slivered jalapeños and microflowers for a vibrant combination with a Baja spin.

    1409 Kettner Blvd.; 619-756-7864

  • Credit: Darlene Horn

    Spanish Octopus at The Patio on Goldfinch

    At this Mission Hills eatery, octopus takes a rustic turn with Spanish influences. The secret in the dish is the cork-cooked method that results in fork-tender tentacles served with gigante beans, smoked pork belly and dried tomatoes.

    4020 Goldfinch St.; 619-501-5090

  • Credit: Darlene Horn

    Wood-Grilled Octopus at Trust Restaurant

    Octopus makes a dramatic entrance in Hillcrest with this shareable dish. Grilled and cut up into segments, each piece is artfully arranged with Castelvetrano olives, salsa verde, fresh pepperoni and chilled legumes for a mix of interesting textures and tastes.

    3752 Park Blvd.; 619-795-6901